Assessing the Pasture Soil Resource

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By Preston Sullivan and Hannah Sharp

Published: 2001

Updated: 2010



8 pages


This technical note provides methods to determine biological activity of pasture soils and practical tips on improving the usefulness of typical soil and plant samples. The soil biology sampling methods are easy to learn and utilize commonly available tools found around any farm. Once these biological assessments are made, more insight into the many benefits of nutrient cycling become apparent. Methods for using soil and plant samples strategically are also covered.

Table of Contents

Making fertility assessments
Assessing soil biological activity and health
When to make these assessments
Equipment needed
Locating sample sites
Points of assessment
Living organisms
Soil smell
Water infiltration
Soil compaction
Further resources
Assessment sheet

Note: Digital downloads are in full color. Printed, mailed copies are only available in black & white.


This page was last updated on: May 7, 2019